Apparently, I have made a grave mistake. (Pun incidental...)
About this time last year, I published a series of posts about the descendants of an Elizabeth Callen, who I believe to be the daughter of James Callin. For your convenience, here is the series, so far:
But somehow I forgot to keep going! Those posts only traced the descendants of Elizabeth's first daughter, Mary, but Elizabeth had five children, which means I owe you a few more posts. In fact, as I've begun preparing these, I have discovered that this family is larger than I first thought, and putting their stories together has been taking longer than usual. This means I'll be giving you shorter posts spread out over a longer time, until we get caught up.
We'll begin today with the second daughter of Caleb and Elizabeth (Callin) Montgomery:
Sarah Montgomery (1824–1918)Sarah was the second of Caleb and Elizabeth (Callin) Montgomery's five children, born on 27 December 1824 in Olivesburg, Richland County, Ohio. She was 9 years old when her mother died, and she was 12 when her father moved the family to Fulton County, Indiana.
Sarah married Henry Davidson (1818–1894) in that county on 22 April 1841. They had six children of their own, who we'll look at over the course of the next few weeks:
- I. Rebecca Lucretia Davidson (1842–1917)
- II. William Montgomery Davidson (1845–1939)
- III. Theodore Bruce Davidson (1848–1932)
- IV. Frances Mary Davidson (1850–1855)
- V. Samuel Thurston Davidson (1853–1889)
- VI. Mary E Davidson (1854–1929)
In 1850 the Henry and Sarah Davidson family was living in Newcastle, Fulton County, and by this time they had taken in Sarah's orphaned niece, who is listed in their household as "Sarah E Faroll" (age 4). You might recall Sarah Ferrell from the post, A Ferrell Child.
Based on research compiled by Stephanie Flora at oregonpioneers.com the Davidsons set out for Oregon as part of the Murphy Train. Captained by John Ecles Murphy, the group consisted of family and friends, all members of the Christian Church (aka Campbellites or Disciples of Christ). According to Flora's site, "In April 1852, a second migration of church members began the journey. It was made up of the families of Burford, Butler, Davidson, Lucas, Mason, Murphy, Roundtree and a number of single men."
The Davidson family settled in what is now Halsey, Linn County, Oregon, where the two youngest children, Samuel and Mary, were born. Sarah and Henry lived out their days in Linn County. Henry died on 19 February 1894 and was buried in Pugh Cemetery in Shedd. Sarah lived in Lebanon until her death on 8 May 1918, and she was buried with her husband.
I. Rebecca Lucretia Davidson (1842–1917)The oldest child of Henry and Sarah (Montgomery) Davidson, Lucretia was born on 18 August 1842 in Fulton County, Indiana. She would have been 10 years old when her family embarked on their journey to Oregon.
About 1864, she married Henderson Warren Murphy (1835–1918), son of John Ecles Murphy (1806–1876) and Frances Wright Doughty (1810–1891) - the same John Ecles Murphy who led the wagon train Lucretia's family took to Oregon in 1852. Henderson was born on 3 February 1835, during the years when his father was establishing the Church of Christ on Cedar Fork of Henderson River in Warren County, Illinois.
After they married, Henderson and Lucretia farmed and raised livestock in Oregon and Washington Territory. They raised a family of seven children, all of whom were born in Oregon:
A. Sarah Frances Murphy (1865–1931)
B. John D Murphy (1867–1955)
C. Omer Thurston Murphy (1871–1961)
D. Katherine M "Katie" Murphy (1873–1942)
E. Nellie Murphy (1873–1958)
F. Carrie M Murphy (1878–1954)
G. Claude Henry Murphy (1885–1970)
(The rest of today's post will follow the descendants of Sarah Frances Murphy.)
About 1879 the family moved to Alder Creek in Klickitat County, Washington Territory, where they appeared on the 1880 U.S. Census and the 1883 territorial census, per Washington State and Territorial Censuses, 1857-1892. But their youngest child, Claude Henry, was born in Oregon in 1885, so it would seem they moved back to Linn County by that point.
Lucretia died on 20 July 1917 in Linn County, Oregon, and is buried in the IOOF Cemetery in Lebanon, Linn County. Henderson died at the home of his daughter, Carrie, in Vancouver, Washington, on 31 December 1918 and was brought back to Oregon and buried with his wife.
A. Sarah Frances Murphy (1865–1931) was born on 5 January 1865 in Halsey, Linn County, Oregon. She married William Lawson Wells (1859–1949) on 3 November 1887 in Polk County, Oregon. William was born on 6 January 1859 to George Andrew Wells (1830–1900) and Henrietta Turner (1830–1911) in Hubbard, Marion County, Oregon.
William and Sarah lived at Dallas in Polk County, where William served as a county sheriff from 1890 to 1894 and as a county judge from 1896 to 1900. They raised seven children together. In 1903 the couple moved back to Halsey. Sarah died there on 21 September 1931 and was buried in Pugh Cemetery in Shedd, Linn County.
William married the widowed Winifred Snyder on 3 November 1932 in Halsey. He died at his home in Halsey on 15 February 1949 at the age of 90. He was buried with Sarah in the Pugh Cemetery.
1. Leroy Henderson "Roy" Wells (1888–1971) was born on 21 October 1888 in Independence, Polk County, Oregon. He was a life-long farmer who never married. He moved to Albany in 1968 and died on 26 January 1971 in the Mennonite Home for the Aged.
2. Elbert George Wells (1890–1961) was born in Independence on 4 April 1890 and grew up in Polk County, Oregon. By 1917 he was living in Calexico, California, where he worked as an engineer on the canals of the Imperial Valley's water company. He and Loreto Villa-Escusa (1895–2000) raised a family of five children: two daughters and three sons. The records I've found say that Loreto was born in 1895 in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico and that she and Elbert lived at 1384 Avenida Lerdo in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, but I have not been able to find marriage records - most likely due to my own inexperience looking for records in another country.
a. Elbert George "Bari" Wells Jr. (1931–2016) was born on 3 July 1931 in Calexico, Imperial County, California. He was raised in Mexicali, Baja California, until his mid-twenties when he met and married his wife of 62 years. He worked hard all of his life in many jobs, starting as a farmworker in the fields of the San Joaquin Valley with his father and brothers at the age of 13. He then worked for Caltrans where he retired as the Brawley Yard Superintendent in 1991.
Bari died on 4 February 2016 at his home in Oceanside, California, and he is survived by his wife, son, two daughters, and two granddaughters.
i. Elbert George Wells III (1954–2017) was born on 13 July 1954 in Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico, and was raised in Brawley, CA, where he attended Brawley High School. He later graduated from Imperial Valley College and the University of California, San Diego.
In 1980, George moved to Santa Barbara, California for work, where he met his late wife, Joann Napoli. In 2009, George moved to Oceanside, California, with his parents, where George assisted his father as a caregiver until Bari's death in 2016. During this time, George also battled diabetes. After his father's death, he moved back to Santa Barbara, where he died on 26 July 2017.
|Order of Leopold II|
3. Goldie Ruth Wells (1893–1979) was born on 6 August 1893, in Dallas, Polk County, Oregon. She became a missionary to the Belgian Congo, where she assisted in establishing the mission station at Mondombe in 1919. She was an author, publishing Sila, Son of the Congo in 1945, and in 1937 she was decorated by the King of Belgium with the Order of Leopold II for her long and outstanding service in the Congo. When she was in America, she was a popular guest speaker in churches throughout the Midwest and Pacific Northwest.
Goldie died on 30 May 1979, in Salem, Marion County, Oregon, at the age of 85, and was buried in Shedd, Oregon.
4. Gladys Leona Wells (1897–1980) was born on 24 August 1897 in Dallas, Polk County, Oregon. She married Emil J Helseth (1895–1980) on 16 September 1920. He was the son of Norwegian immigrants, Lars J Helseth (1864–1922) and Elise Pedersen (1867–1895), born on 9 January 1985 in Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota.
Emil served in the Army Medical Corps in World War I, enlisting from 29 March 1918 to 11 April 1919. After the war, he attended the University of Oregon and graduated from Eugene Bible University, later called Northwest Christian College. He served pastoral assignments in Washington and Oregon, became an Army chaplain in World War II, serving from 5 June 1943 to 14 February 1946, and returned to Ontario as pastor of the First Christian Church. He later served in Boise and Burley, Idaho, retiring in I960 and moving to Salem. He was active in starting Keizer Christian Church, he was an elder emeritus of Garden Road Christian Church and a member of Salem Retread Organization, an association of people who served in both world wars.
Gladys and Emil died just a month apart in Salem; Gladys at home on 19 January and Emil on 11 February 1980 in a nursing home. They are buried in the City View Cemetery in Salem. They are survived by their two daughters, one of their three sons, 15 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Miriam was the daughter of missionaries George Emery Eccles (1890–1988) and Lulu M Moffitt (1896–1969), born on 16 March 1923 in Bolange, Belgian Congo. (As it happens, the Eccles family served at the mission station in Mondombe in the 1920s, which Raymond's aunt Goldie had helped to establish.) Miriam was a trained coloratura soprano and soloist. She gave voice and piano lessons and took in typing.
Raymond pastored churches in Colville, Washington; Kimberly, Idaho; and McMinnville, Oregon; as well as several student pastorates in Oregon and Texas. Miriam supported Raymond's ministry as a pianist, choir director, committee chair, and teacher. While in McMinnville, Miriam received a BA in Music Education and an MA in English Education from Linfield College. She taught music at Adams Grade School, taught English and Freshman Girls' Glee at Centennial High School, then English at Gresham High School, and later still substitute taught in Salem before becoming a full-time grade school music teacher for some years.
In 1960, Raymond became organizing pastor of Lynchwood Christian Church in southeast Portland. He served as a part-time campus minister at Portland State University and volunteer chaplain in the Multnomah County jail system. He became Protestant Chaplain at Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem in 1968. Miriam volunteered extensively at Oregon State Prison while Raymond was chaplain, giving piano and voice lessons to inmates and directing a men's choir. The choir was limited to 40 men with a long waiting list. Several concerts a year were performed for "outside' guests. One guest was Senator Mark Hatfield whom the Helseths had long known and admired.
Miriam was active at Keizer Christian Church, becoming the first woman elder in a Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) congregation in Oregon. Even after he retired, Raymond served interim ministries in Washington and Oregon. Raymond and Miriam also helped start the Salem Area Habitat for Humanity. They had seen some original Habitat houses in Africa on a missions trip in 1986. Miriam was board secretary for nine years. On 16 March 2003, her eightieth birthday, a house was dedicated in West Salem as the Helseth Home.
Miriam died in Portland on 31 December 2004 at the age of 81. Raymond died on 1 October 2005 in Salem at the age of 83. They were survived by three of their five children and eight grandchildren. They were preceded in death by Merrilyn Joy Helseth (1946), who died in infancy, and by one son:
- Raymond John "Ray J." Helseth (1957–1997) was born on 16 February 1957 in McMinnville, Yamhill County, Oregon, and he grew up to be a long-haul truck driver. Ray J. died on 28 July 1997 in Salem, Oregon, at the age of 40 and was survived by his companion and three step-children.
b. Ralph Emil Helseth (1921–2001) was the twin brother of Raymond, born together on 25 December 1921 in Eugene, Oregon. He married Julia Evelyn Pedersen (1918–2016) on Christmas Day in 1942. Evelyn was born 20 December 1918, in Seattle, Washington, during the flu epidemic of 1918 and grew up on the Olympic Peninsula. She was the daughter of Edwin Peter Pederson (1882–1925) and Rhoda Maude Stuart (1883–1957).
Like his brother, he became a minister. He attended Pacific Lutheran College in Tacoma. Evelyn was a graduate of Northwest Christian College in Eugene and served in the ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Washington, Indiana, and Oregon with her husband.
Ralph died on 3 January 2001 in Federal Way, King County, Washington, and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn, King County. Evelyn moved to Hood River in 2008 as her health declined and lived with her daughter and son-in-law. She died at 97 years of age on 24 October 2016 and was buried with Ralph. They are survived by their daughter, one of their two sons, and their grandchildren.
- Jonathan Mark Helseth (1949–2004) was the son of Ralph and Evelyn Helseth, born on 25 August 1949 in Clarkston, Asotin County, Washington. He was married in Auburn, Washington, in 1971, and is survived by his wife, son, and daughter. He died on 13 November 2004 in Seattle and was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Auburn.
5. William Leonard Wells (1900–1904) was born in Polk County, Oregon, on 17 April 1900, and only lived to be three years old. He died on 24 March 1904 and was buried in Pugh Cemetery in Shedd, Linn County, Oregon.
6. William Lawrence Wells (1904–1977) was born on 7 February 1904 in Oregon and grew up to be a minister, like many of the men in his family. On 23 August 1927, he married Gracia Thornton (1904–1975) in Lane County, Oregon. Gracia was born on 2 May 1904 in Oregon, the youngest daughter of Josiah Jeptha Thornton (1851–1941) and Frances Emeline Mathews (1863–1937).
The Rev. W. Lawrence and Mrs. Gracia Wells served in Missouri, Snohomish County, Washington, and in Marysville, Yuba County, California, before settling in Pasadena, Los Angeles County in the 1950s. Gracia died in Pasadena on 23 April 1975, and Lawrence died there on 26 June 1977. They were survived by their son and three grandchild.
a. William Joseph Wells (1937–2016) was the son of Lawrence and Gracia Wells, born 6 March 1937 in Vancouver, Washington. He spent his childhood in Washington State and northern California and graduated from Marysville High School in California in 1955. After he studied for a year at Chapman College, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years. While stationed in Japan, he met and married Judith Kathryn Davis (1940–1992), daughter of American missionaries Dr. Howard Kenneth Davis (1920–2014) and Kathryn Anna Giles (1922–1998). She was born on 8 August 1940 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
After his discharge from the service, Bill returned to Pacific Christian College, then attended Phillips Seminary in Enid, Oklahoma earning both a Masters of Divinity and a Doctorate of Ministry. He served churches in Nelsonville and Findlay, Ohio. Judith was also ordained as a United Methodist pastor, and she served in the Byhalia-Pottersburg (Ohio) area.
Bill and Judith divorced in July 1977, and both remarried - Judith in 1978, and Bill about 1987. Judith died on 22 November 1992 in Centerville, Montgomery County, Ohio.
After he married his second wife, Bill spent 16 years at Anderson Hills Church in Cincinnati, until health complications forced him into retirement. In 2003, Bill and his wife retired to Yuba City where they joined St. Andrew Presbyterian Church and enjoyed a loving community there. Bill suffered many health problems over the next years due to diabetes. He died on 22 December 2016 in Yuba City, Sutter County, California, and is survived by his wife, son, two daughters, and eight grandchildren and step-grandchildren (four of each).
7. Genevieve H Wells (1906–1999) was the youngest child of William and Frances (Murphy) Wells, born on 29 December 1906 in Oregon and grew up in Halsey, Linn County. She married Glenn Clinton Kendall (1903–1949) on 3 September 1927 in Linn County. He was born on 6 April 1906 in Grant County, Oregon, to John Benjamin Kendall (1867–1943) and Winnifred "Winnie" Mulkey (1873–1946).
Glenn and Genevieve lived in the Albany, Oregon, area until around 1944, when they moved to Paso Robles, California. Glenn died in San Luis Obispo County on 13 March 1949 and was buried in Paso Robles District Cemetery.
Genevieve remarried Leo Estel Smart (1890–1978) on 14 February 1958 in San Luis Obispo, California. Leo died on 6 May 1978 in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, California, and was buried in Paso Robles District Cemetery. Genevieve died on 12 June 1999, also in Morro Bay, California, at the age of 92, and was buried in Paso Robles, California.
a. John E Kendall (1929–2016) was born on 13 April 1929 and grew up in Benton County. All I can say about John's biography with the records I have been able to find is that he married his second wife, Jean Belle Lay (1928–2004) on 7 September 1976 in Los Angeles County, California. She died in Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo County, California, on 20 November 2004, and was buried in the Paso Robles District Cemetery. John died there in 2016 and was buried with Jean.
b. Lewis Clinton Kendall (1934–2009) was born on 7 September 1934 in Albany, Oregon, and moved to Paso Robles around age 10, where he eventually graduated from Paso Robles High. Lewis was married to his first wife for 18 years. After they divorced, he began his 23-year career with California State Parks. He worked at Hearst Castle for 6 years and 17 years at Lake Oroville. He moved to Chico in 1979, where he died on 27 July 2009.
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That is all I have at the moment - I feel like there is a lot more to say about these very interesting people, but hopefully, we'll get to learn more as we move down the trail!
As always, if you've found one or more of your relatives mentioned in this blog, please get in touch. You can comment below (anonymous comments are usually not as helpful), or email "mightieracorns" at Gmail.com.
We now have more ways to reach out:
a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/MightierAcorns/
a Twitter feed - https://twitter.com/MightierAcorns
a Ko-Fi cup - https://ko-fi.com/mightieracorns
...and if you prefer a private group, we still have the Callin Family History group on Facebook for "cousins only" (there will be a question about how you're related to the family before you can join).
Until next time.... Happy Hunting!